with every new year comes new resolutions. goals. to do lists. i can look at all of my old journals. and yes i am one of those girls that has my journals from elementary school. when i thought the worst thing in the world was that no boy would ever be taller than me. that i would be called giraffe for the rest of my life. needless to say boys got taller and my goals are bit less junior high dreams. as i look through my journals i see a pattern emerge. i have been obsessed with my weight and how i look since i was around ten. i thought that if i wrote out an exercise schedule i would some how fulfill it. i have also just moved goals from one year to another ( going to new york, running a marathon, finishing all of steinbeck, writing a book.) and lets be honest i may or may not ever run a marathon or get to new york . ( but God willing that book will be written!)
i thought this year i would start with a top ten things i want to let go of.
10. hurts. i want to let go of the hurts that others have intentionally or unintentionally done to me. hurts that i find myself bringing up time and time again. hurts that i have let control who i am and who i am afraid to be. hurts that may never be resolved or spoken of but that need to find a final resting place.
9. weight. i will never be the size i was in junior high or high school for that matter. but God has blessed me with four blessings. and my body was strong enough and healthy enough to carry and care for all four of them. my body is strong. my body is healthy. my body is a temple of Christ. and He created me to live and move the way He wanted. not the way the world wants it to look. and i am going to be good with that.
8.gossip. this one is hard for me. i once told a friend of mine “don’t tell me anything cause i will likely accidentally tell someone else”. i don’t intend to be a gossip but i find that my mouth gets ahead of my heart. and i end up talking about things or people i have no business with. we as women struggle with this all the time. in the church we cover it by calling it “prayer chain” . whatever. we need to call it what it is. gossip. its ugly. it hurts. its none of our business.
7.fear. many things don’t scare me. i have no problem walking the streets of africa or being in a third world country. i can talk to the homeless. i can go into any inner city and handle myself well. but i have this strange fear of other people. ask me to go into a more affluent area, dress up, talk to those of”higher status” and i can’t do it.even just going to the mall i can’t stand. i get anxious and afraid. i am afraid of being judged. i am being afraid of being laughed at. i am afraid of being alone. so this year i am going to do something to step out of my strange comfort zone. ( maybe a baby step to the mall…)
6.yes. i say yes to everything. all the time. i have been working on this. trying to say “let me think about it”, “let me check my schedule”, “let me check with my husband”, or”let me get back to you”. i have for years been a yes girl. yes i can do that. yes i can make that for you. yes i can go there. yes i can give to that. but i have found. i am finding that i have nothing let to give. no energy. no time. no patience. no grace. no happiness. nothing for myself or my family. it was a stark realization this christmas. i had spent all of the money that we had set aside for christmas on others. a few days before christmas i was on the phone with a friend sobbing that i had given everything away. i was mad at myself for not thinking of my kids, our empty fridge or a gas tank that needed to get us to ohio and michigan. i knew then that i needed to start being ok with saying no.
5.noise.as an extrovert i love having others around. the more the merrier. the more friends i have around me more safe i feel. i am realizing i need to be ok with the quiet. i have a friend who is amazing at this. i envy her quiet. i crave the quiet she can have each day. and i am not too proud to admit i totally covet her purple chair in her sitting room( just sayin.). i am feeling like God is calling me to be still. no people.no tv. no facebook. no pinterest. no texting. no phone. no kids. no friends. just me and Him. and to find my own “purple chair”.
4.expectations. for a long time now i have held expectations of others. expectations of what family is supposed to look like. of how others should be treated. of how i should be treated. expectations that i want others to obtain and criticize when these things aren’t met. i get upset and angry when i think that others should live up to my many unrealistic expectations. when i place these on others i leave no room for God to mold them into who they are supposed to be. not who i want them to be but who He needs them to be.
3.ugliness. when i get frustrated i can get “ugly” pretty quickly. i can bring up past mistakes of others and forget that i am a sinner with other sinners around me. i quickly forget that the grace that has been given to me day after day is the same grace i need to continue to give. i need to get off my high horse and daily come to grips with that all sins are equal at the foot of the cross. i need to work on praying away the ugliness that likes to invade my soul and replace it with a peace that only the Holy Spirit can give.
2. talking. we are trying to teach our blessings about listening more and talking less. to put a lid on the “me monster” that seems to creep into who we are. we are working on asking more questions about the other person and less bragging about ourselves or one upping the other person. christmas was a great time to practice this. for the blessings to ask others what was going on in their lives and about what they did and less about themselves. i too need to still my heart and ask more also.
1. run from pain. this past fall i heard someone i admire talk about “entering into the suffering” of others. this year. this year i want to learn to enter into the pain of others. the hurting. the sorrowful. the grieving. the lonely. the scared. i want to stop running from the pain of those around me. i want to learn to enter into the pain and conflict of those around me as Christ did. when we are in our darkest moments Christ does not leave. He stays. He feels. He enters in. this is what i wish for this new year. that I could be more of Him and less of me.
to many of you this list may seem very attainable. but to me this is going to be hard. i know i need to have someone in my life hold me accountable.all this month i will be blogging and having my fellow writer friends blog about radical things they have done for Christ. things that the world would think is crazy or annoying to draw closer to our King. so join me this month, year, day in doing something to be more like Him and less like you.
happy new year!